The American Nurses Association (ANA), representing the interest of America’s 3.6 million registered nurses, strongly opposes President Trump’s FY 2018 budget plan. The drastic cuts proposed in the President’s budget will weaken the nation’s health care system and jeopardize the scientific research needed to keep America healthy. These cuts will also have a devastating effect on nursing workforce development programs, slashing 64 percent of resources intended to help meet the health care needs of millions of Americans.
The President’s budget guts the critical services Medicaid provides, leaving more than 10 million people vulnerable to losing health coverage. It adds $600 billion in cuts to the $800 billion cut in the American Health Care Act (AHCA), passed earlier this month in the House of Representatives.
“Congress must firmly reject the President’s budget. These cuts would decimate the safety net that millions of children, adults with disabilities and seniors depend on for health care,” said ANA Executive Director Debbie Dawson Hatmaker, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Additionally, a 64 percent decrease in funding for nursing workforce development programs would essentially dismantle programs that recruit, train and educate nurses for practice in rural and medically underserved communities.”
The proposed budget also slices $5.8 billion from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and $1.2 billion from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, resulting in a massive cut to scientific research for medical cures. Furthermore, this proposal suggests folding the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the only federal agency with a mandate to conduct health services research, into this significantly reduced NIH.
Instead, ANA recommends Congress provide $244 million to fund nursing workforce development programs, $160 million for the National Institute of Nursing Research, $380 million for the National Health Service Corps, and to restore AHRQ’s funding to at least $364 million in FY 2018.
“ANA is committed to working with Congress to advocate for programs that fully address the health care demands of the nation,” Hatmaker said. “We recognize the difficult task before Congress as they consider the President’s proposal. However, compromising health care because of political or partisan posturing is unacceptable. We must invest today in our nation’s largest health care workforce, registered nurses, to ensure access to high-quality health care tomorrow.”